What is $20?

Weeks after my Mother has told us that we need to watch what we use, for financial purposes, my Father walks into the living room, my brothers and I sitting on the couch fixated on the TV as usual. He looks at us, then the screen, and back at us again, He says, “Let’s go!” motioning me. I jump out of the couch and follow him to the door.

We get into the car and we’re driving in the evening, “Where are we going?” I ask finally, “Oh well, you said ‘Pizza’ so we’re getting pizza.” He responds. Shocked, I say, “Wait, didn’t Mom tell us that we need to save money? We can’t go for pizza!” “Well… What’s $20?”

There’s a phrase that goes, “When you have 2 shillings, you buy Bread with one, and a Flower with the other.”

I’ve always wondered about this phrase, and the purpose of such a thing, I mean, it’s interesting in the sense that it’s saying, ‘buy something you need, and then buy something fun/flirty/loving/inedible’ and my Father saw that, despite whatever hardships one is experiencing, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a bit of fun. If nothing else, that small bit of fun helps you by relaxing you, and if only for a moment, taking your mind off the utter stress you’ve been placed under.

My Father realizes that no one can be serious 100% of the time, there has to be– no, there must be time to laugh, to smile, to forget about one’s worries, and lose oneself in a moment of pure joy, of relaxation, of love.

The world isn’t perfect, that’s given, and it’ll always be hard on you, without withholding any blow however severe, the world is cruel, calculating, and oftentimes confusing. But no where in there does it say that you can’t tickle someone, that you can’t hug a friend, you can’t kiss a love, you can’t laugh with your children.

And then you see it, despite the fact that the flower costs as much as a loaf of bread, the flower is just as necessary as the bread, sure you could’ve bought 2 loaves, yet you’d have too much bread and something goes to waste, not the loaves, but your own heart. If you don’t place happiness, or joy, or laughter, or even a bit of stupidity in your life, you’ll constantly be surrounded by stress, which weighs rather heavily on the consciousness, without something light, you’ll strain your thought processing will be on constant high gear, thus wearing out far beyond it’s intended expiration date.

Because once you really think about it, what is it that you’re worrying about? Bills, electronics, heat, water, shelter, all tied to pieces of paper saying this and that. We are designed to respond to this by throwing other smaller pieces of paper at it, and they respond by throwing other pieces of paper at us, and we reply with our previous response, and the cycle continues, until someone stops throwing paper at the other.

We are biologically designed to think, to move, to feel, to live, to laugh, to love, to smile, to cry, to feel pain, to reach for the stars, we are not designed to stress over notices, payments, overdue bills, insurance, debts, money. The body is meant to move, whether inside or out, we are not meant to be under paper yokes that bind us to a singular place, we’re meant to stress that someone/something is coming to kill us or eat us, not whether they’ll take our money or our stuff away.

That’s why there’s a Flower that accompanies the loaf of bread, or a pizza that goes with the house payment, because sometimes you need that little victory over the stress, that small piece that says, “I will have this moment, just for me, where the world cannot touch it.”

These moments are manifested in various things, from flowers to pizza.

It’s necessary to have a moment to yourself, a moment that seems insignificant in the long run, as well as the memory, until you’ve overcame your obstacles and you can look back. Your accomplishments will be the triumph, but those moments that you’ve forgotten will be the ‘umph’ that kept you ‘tri’-ing.

Heh, in these moments when you think overall it means nothing, yet you find out that it is in these moments that you’ve learned how meaningful they truly are.

$20 can buy so many necessary things, from food to a payment, yet, sometimes the most necessary thing in life, is the thing that makes life worthwhile.

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